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"lost notes" in chord voicings on Axe II

symphx

Fractal Fanatic
in testing and using riff 1, the clarity of the a string is the same between my diezel vh4s and my axe-fx using the diezel amp.

with both i find it better to mute the open d string when playing the a string notes. i know the tab is written as d string open, but in performance, are you muting the d string when you do the a string hammers? that instantly makes the notes clearer using both the amp and the axe.

i have a little more time to experiment. i'm just having the same difficulty with both amps. i know with the axe, though, i have many options for fixing it where as with the amp i only have 6 or so knobs.
I agree, I almost always and instinctively palm mute to some extent, hard not to. But to each his own. I also dont down tune. I also loooove the axe. For the record.
 

nvandyk

Member
Never said you had to study MP&E to have great tone...but it would help in not making some mistakes.

I know this isn't the exact sound you are going after but we can fine tune it some after. Try preset #32..the cameron high one. Do you still have the masked A & D strings?
I appreciate your suggestion and will try it this evening.
 

chris

Legend!
i don't like preset #32 :)

and i'm actually not palm muting at all when i hit the a string. hard to describe lets see...

i palm mute on the d... but when i go for the a string hammer, i naturally stop palm muting and actually only hit the a string.... for clarity haha.

but when i also hit the d, i notice i can't really palm mute either string (and def not both) to get the hammer on to work.

but that's all irrelevant to this really.

more testing.
 
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javajunkie

Moderator
Moderator
To add on to this. Since you are trying different amps. Truy all the mesa hi gain amps. It certainly can't hurt and goes back to using the ears instead of the eyes.
The FAS Lead 1, Lead 2, and Modern were based of the Triaxis. The very first models done on the axe-fx were off Cliff's triaxis, if I remember correctly.

But between the USA leads, the Rectos, and the FAS Leads, Plus the Mark IIc+, you might find a better starting point and thereby reduce tweak time.
I know you've done this, but cab selection is one of the most important tone shaping tools in the arsenal. A lot of the advanced stuff is about fine tuning and really dialing things in.

I also, have seen some people that have really nailed the petrucci sound around here. I think some of them posted patches.

I have the utmost confidence with a little experimentation you are going find your tone.
 

nikki-k

Experienced
I thought Lead 2 Red was the red channel on the Mark III, no?
Sometimes mistaken as such, but I am pretty sure it was supposed to be a "modified + modified gain, lead-playing-grail" type mode. Lead 2 Yellow is the "If you cannot find a pristine Mark II C+ head with a GEQ" (IIRC?). Interestingly, the Lead 2 Green is crafted upon the Mark IV, while both Yellow and Red are the II (C+). IIRC, the Lead 1 Red is the only Rec emulation, and the only one to utilize the (smaller) secondary board in there. I have taken every one of my Triaxis-es apart :D How can you not? Hehehe!!!

That said, I can perfectly replicate his tone from I&W and Awake. Use the same equipment, get the same tone.
Patches for the Axe for this era are, as always I believe, very much appreciated :D While patches can never truly translate fully (different hands, different tone), I am a HUGE fan of interpretations, and the methods utilized in doing so are absolute gold.. or even platinum in some cases.. IMO, more so than the tone the patch will produce (for the crafter).

By the way, in recording my last CD the producer debunked a bit of that. He said that after years of putting mics off axis, using multiple mics, getting the room in there, etc. he found that one mic, placed as close as possible to the grill, about 2 inches off center of the speaker, replicates almost the exact same sound as "being in the room" (minus the room itself, of course). So it's not as far different going in. Obviously as has been discussed, other instruments, EQ in the mic, multitracking and mastering all have a big impact.
This is something I have struggled, and continue to struggle, with: That "live, in the room" sound. Drums are the most egregious offenders IMO. Well, not the drums, but the ability to properly "capture" them. Though I realize the futility of it, and typically do not even consider it consciously any longer, the possibility of it remains lodged in the "smoky coffee (and other refreshments) house" in my mind ;) I am not a fan of a single, close mic'd cab; IR reverbs, plus the number of simultaneously tracks we can capture now allows great flexability. Though... I will take a brilliant, inspired take over a well crafted (sonically) one :D

The USA Lead 2, insofar as it replicates the Mark V, is a good starting place, I think. The interaction of the EQ will take some tweaking but hopefully it will get there. If I get something workable with this, I may then go back and experiment further with the Recto Orange.

Not a put down in the least -- HIGHLY informative and constructive and helpful. Thank you!
I have been obsessing over the USA Lead 2 .
Glad my post was of interest :D Really enjoying this thread!!!
 
My 2 cents (which may be all it's worth)

Patch 36, FAS Modern (I think someone mentioned this amp)

Running cab mono hi res (Recto V30 (RW)), Raise low cut to taste.

Reverb, delay off.

Pretty good note definition for me when playing your riff. You may try messing with the amp voicing as well (modern sounds pretty good for this).

BTW, cool thread and I checked out your band. Very cool! I had never heard of you, but am a DT fan and your tunes are right up my alley.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I used a Triaxis for, shoot, I dunno, over a decade before designing the Axe-Fx. I have two of them. So I'd say I'm pretty familiar with the tones. To my ears (and my measurement equipment), the Axe-Fx models are spot-on. There isn't necessarily a 1-to-1 correspondence with the knobs but it's pretty darn close.
 

Ed DeGenaro

Experienced
The thing is symphx, unless your paying me I am not going to record samples for you or the OP.
Just pick preset #32 (Cameron High) and you'll have your high gain without killing the A & D strings.
What a fun read this thread has been. Anyways, your post reminded of something, and looking at your gear list made it actually funny. I don't know jack shit about Petrucci's tone, but I do know a thing or 12 about amps...
So, since you suggested the Cameron the one thing that I liked in how Cliff modeled it was that the overtones in the power section stay more in phase than say on a Recto. Actually that's something the old THD Plexi clones and the Flexi-50 do really well. So, the more slop you got in the power amp between notes the more it has a tendency to want to disappear. Once of the reasons I like the Cameron model.
Now on real life THD Flexi's the one thing I always did instead of running the bias at 25mA per tube I raised it to 33 mA. What happened was that when you used a good amount of hair...say ala Vai rhythm tone...the frequencies would stay together as a cohesive sound. at 25 mA it sounded more like 3 separate frequency bands.
 

Dr_Rockso

Member
The thing is symphx, unless your paying me I am not going to record samples for you or the OP.
Wow, that's a pretty shitty attitude. I'm glad yek, scott, smilefan, axeman, and the whole slew of other members that actually contribute to these forums don't feel the same way (you can count Cliff and the other Fractal admins in the list for not charging us for updates and help/advice).

To the OP, can you post a dry clip of your signal and playing, and maybe people here can try reamping through different patches to see if they can get a more balanced sound? This way, if there is a problem with the D string drowning out on everyone's patches, it may indicate that the issues are at the source (i.e. the guitar).
 
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nvandyk

Member
Results with presets

Good clarity on 032 / Cameron High, albeit much less gain than appropriate for my application.

Pretty good clarity on 36 / FAS Modern with the delay and reverb turned off (which I would do before tracking) so it is definitely possible to get there.

So symphx, your question is answered. The unit can do it.

Whether I can find out how to do it with the tone I'm looking for is of course the next step. :)

Cliff, I will certainly experiment with the other high-gain Mesa amps; I am getting pretty close with the USA Lead 2 but am open to any and all options.

Thanks to everyone for their help. Will keep you posted and of course if others have other ideas
 

symphx

Fractal Fanatic
We will all get there some day, boo hoo haa haa hooh haaahaaa. good luck nvanDyk or Michael Romeo or whomever you are.
 

jesussaddle

Power User
I've done very little recording and certainly don't claim to be an expert of any sort, but... here is your problem: guitar is a mid-range instrument. Scooping out mids as you've done may sound good at low-ish volumes on it's own, but gets completely swallowed up the moment you add other instruments or start playing loud. You NEED mids. They are the bulk of any good guitar tone. They are what allow you to "cut through the mix." This gets compounded with distortion (which you should also back down on if you want any sort of clarity). The Red channel on any Rectifier has so much available gain, there is no need to have it so far up (this goes for the Master as well). If you used these settings on a real Rectifier it would be completely un-listenable... as well as ear-splitting loud. Also, what works as a lead tone, will not usually sound good when your chugging away on the low E (or D, or C, as the case may be).

Less gain - more "chunk"
More mids - more "slice"
That's not sarcastic. Its true that the scooping can be a delicate thing and changes - I'm not particular to the "scooped" music, and have a real problem getting those type of sounds, and this comment may have helped me. Boy, things vary a lot depending on listening context so it takes flexibility when seeking out a tone. These things are such a balancing act and its no wonder people get confused.
 

Bumbleish

Inspired
Wow, that's a pretty shitty attitude. I'm glad yek, scott, smilefan, axeman, and the whole slew of other members that actually contribute to these forums don't feel the same way (you can count Cliff and the other Fractal admins in the list for not charging us for updates and help/advice)
It was in response to the demand I only respond with a clip from the post previously. I did offer a few suggestions, so it wasn't like I just said that & ran off. That being said, can see how it came off shitty.

Good clarity on 032 / Cameron High, albeit much less gain than appropriate for my application.
Glad the Cameron High helped with the clarity aspect...just wanted to show it was possible and not some "modeler" issue. Agree with you that it had less gain and a different EQ thing going on but that could be tweaked. It was a just possible starting point.

So, since you suggested the Cameron the one thing that I liked in how Cliff modeled it was that the overtones in the power section stay more in phase than say on a Recto. Actually that's something the old THD Plexi clones and the Flexi-50 do really well. So, the more slop you got in the power amp between notes the more it has a tendency to want to disappear. Once of the reasons I like the Cameron model.
Now on real life THD Flexi's the one thing I always did instead of running the bias at 25mA per tube I raised it to 33 mA. What happened was that when you used a good amount of hair...say ala Vai rhythm tone...the frequencies would stay together as a cohesive sound. at 25 mA it sounded more like 3 separate frequency bands.
Ed, I must say I learned a ton about how different tubes and bias on each sound thanks to you. Have practically a chest full of tubes in my collection still. The Flexi is one of those amps Ill never get rid of..a really great sounding amp & perfect for learning how to get what you want from an amp.
 
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nikki-k

Experienced
Now on real life THD Flexi's the one thing I always did instead of running the bias at 25mA per tube I raised it to 33 mA. What happened was that when you used a good amount of hair...say ala Vai rhythm tone...the frequencies would stay together as a cohesive sound. at 25 mA it sounded more like 3 separate frequency bands.
(apologies for the sidebar/hijack)
Ed- there is a clip of Chris Poland playing a Flexi that, though quite short, demonstrated how beautiful that amp can sound. Not sure if I phrased that well.. it is one of my "regret" amps; I always wanted to try one, but never had the extra cash to do so. Plenty of other good clips out there as well, but I am a huge Chris Poland fan :D
 

clarky

Axe-Master
hey NVANDYK - I've just listened to your last clip: a couple of thoughts....

- the difference in level between your recorded guitar and the DT clip is quite big..
this extra level makes your tone perceivably brighter with respect to the clip..
loud things sound brighter.. when the levels are the same the difference between them don't sound quite so big..

- I'd also guess that a lot of the perceived extra low end is coming from the bass guitar and the mix in general..

- DT are well known for hugely compressing their mixes which will have the effect of squeezing out some of the high end

so.. when I listened to your recording and then compensated for the the lack of level in the clip...
and then tried to listen through all that mastering compression...

I reckon that last tone you dialled up is actually pretty close to that in the recording..
you certainly seem to have captured the fundamental voice..
personally I'd imagine that if you tracked the part in a studio, then threw it all through something like an LA2A compressor and an ultramaximizer I'd not be surprised if you found that you'd nailed JP's tone to within a gnat's...

the thinking what I just thunk is that I'd bet you're closer than you think...
 
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johna156

Inspired
Try playing around with the speaker resonance freq. Move it up and down until you find the fine point between a nice thump and clarity. After that, adjust the low cut (cab block) to taste.
For the mids: In the amp's GEQ, instead of cutting too much mids, try less cut for the mids and make a slight bump of the freqs right next (left and right) to the freqs you would normally cut (mids).
Keep the mids in the amp block (first page) above 12 o'clock (I like it around 2-3 o'clock) and keep the lows low.
After the amp, you can use a GEQ block to fine tune it.
Also, if you feel you need more clarity, try raising the damp param and/or lowering a bit the sag.
Personally, I like my master volume to be around 3.5-6, but I don't use too much preamp gain, so adjust those to taste.
Finally, try using a delay with a very short time (like 20msec).
 
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AdamCook

Power User
I thought this might be relevant since this thread has evolved into a guide to emulation of JP's scooped Mesa rhythm sound....

You can find the "stems" for On The Backs of Angels available for download here (if you have purchased A Dramatic Turn of Events): Dream Theater - Get Stems For Dream Theater's "On The Backs Of Angels"!

I don't think these are the "raw" mic'd amp sounds. The stem sounds like all the guitar tracks combined and probably with any post-processing already added. However, it's still a good tool for hearing how they mixed JP's guitar sound independent of the other instruments.
 

AdamCook

Power User
Yeah, they are posted all over youtube. On the Backs of Angels, is like you said.
I figured I'd post a link to non-compressed wav files in order to pre-empt the obligatory "youtube compression sucks!" argument whenever a clip is posted ;).

Here it is anyway:
 
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